Minglanilla to host PEKAF Visayas leg qualifying tournament
CEBU, Philippines—The town of Minglanilla in southern Cebu will host the upcoming Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (PEKAF) Visayas leg qualifying tournament on January 6-8, 2023, at the Minglanilla sports complex, south Cebu.
The three-day major arnis tournament will field 455 eskrimadors from all over the Visayas as part of PEKAF’s selection for the Philippine team that will vie in the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia later this year.
Minglanilla mayor Rajiv Enad led a press conference on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, along with PEKAF officials headed by PEKAF vice president Gerald Cañete along with PEKAF regional director Willy Bacalso, and PEKAF VP for Central Visayas Felipe “Tyke” Abella.
They were joined by Minglanilla councilor and lawyer Boyet Velez, who is also the town’s committee chairman on sports, and town administrator Junrie Bragat.
“Dako kaayo nga kalipay nako nga ang Pekaf Visayas qualifying tournament ari sa Minglanilla. Dako nakong pasalamat sa PEKAF, headed by its president, Senator Miguel Zubiri, who will be here to attend the opening ceremony,” said Enad.
“Gusto sad nato sugdan ang martial arts ug sports nga eskrima dinhi sa Minglanilla kay proud kaayo ta nga ato ning kaugalingon nga martial arts,” he added.
Teams from Cebu, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Samar, and Leyte will compete in the Visayas qualifying tournament.
Cañete explained that the tournament is crucial considering that arnis contributed 14 gold medals for the Philippines in the 2019 SEA Games.
Organizers said this tournament aims to select the best of the best eskrimadors who can duplicate or surpass the 2019 feat.
Cañete said Visayas qualifiers will proceed to the battle of champions, where they will meet the champions of Mindanao, NCR, Luzon, and the Philippine National Team.
“If atong mga kabisay-an nga players modaog, that will be their ticket to the national team for the SEA Games,” said Cañete.
Meanwhile, Velez, who is also the deputy commissioner of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi), said they will do their best to host the Visayas qualifying tournament.
“We had a series of meetings with the PNP (Philippine National Police), traffic personnel, and DepEd (Department of Education) kay amo mani sila gi house sa classrooms sa Minglanilla Central School, which is within the venue of the tournament. First time nato mo host ug event such as arnis diri sa Minglanilla, so amo jud ni gipangandaman. Ang president sa PEKAF, si Senator Miguel Zubiri, mo attend siya sa event. So, dako-dako gyud ni nga event diri sa Minglanilla,” said Velez.
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